As a framework for organising health care interactions, compliance and adherence have come in for increasing criticism in recent years. It has been suggested that interactions with patients should not be viewed simply as opportunities to reinforce instructions around treatment: rather, they should be seen as a space where the expertise of patients and health professionals can be pooled to arrive at mutually agreed goals. This concept - known as concordance - is attracting increasing interest in health services research within the UK. In this paper, we seek to empirically explore the relevance of a re-framed consultation through qualitative interviews with a small group of English speaking patients of Pakistani origin with a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes. We suggest that the focus of many respondents in this study on material and structural factors limiting diabetic regimen integration and the emphasis on a 'doctor-centred' model of health care interactions represent distinct problems for the accomplishment of the concordance project. However, given that some patients sought greater understanding and appreciation by health professionals of the subjective aspects of living with diabetes, if it is evaluated at the level of health care relationships, rather than health outcomes (such as improved compliance) concordance may well be a significant development for those who suggest that respect for the patients agenda is a fundamental aspect of health care. © 2003 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.
- Doctor-patient interaction
- Ethnic minorities